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Digital Archive International History Declassified

January 19, 1973

COSVN PARTY CURRENT AFFAIRS COMMITTEE ISSUES DIRECTIVE ON URGENT TASKS AFTER A POLITICAL SETTLEMENT WAS CONCLUDED

This document was made possible with support from the MacArthur Foundation

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    On 19 January 1973, the COSVN Party Current Affairs Committee issued a directive on policies and urgent tasks to be implemented after a political settlement was reached and a ceasefire was implemented, before the signing of the Paris Agreement.
    "COSVN Party Current Affairs Committee Issues Directive on Urgent Tasks After a Political Settlement was Concluded," January 19, 1973, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Lich Su Bien Nien Xu Uy Nam Bo va Trung Uong Cuc Mien Nam (1954-1975) [Historical Chronicle of the Cochin China Party Committee and the Central Office for South Vietnam, 1954-1975], 2nd ed. (Hanoi: Nha xuat ban Chinh tri quoc gia, 2008), 1189-1191. Translated by Merle Pribbenow. http://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/175821
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Before the Paris Agreement was signed, the Thieu government stubbornly carried out a “flooding the territory” plan, planting flags, seizing land and population, and intensifying his effort to occupy areas under our control. To deal with this situation, on 19 January 1973 the COSVN Party Current Affairs Committee issued a directive on policies and urgent tasks to be implemented after a political settlement was reached and a ceasefire was implemented.

Analyzing the situation, COSVN reached the following conclusion:

“The most fundamental victory that we have won as represented by the signing of this Agreement is that we have forced the Americans to promise to recognize and respect the basic national rights of people of Vietnam and the right to self-determination of the people of South Vietnam … During this new phase of the revolution, our policy is to mobilize the entire Party, the entire army, and the entire population to exploit this victory to the maximum by conducting a political high tide movement in all three strategic areas [mountain jungles, rural countryside, cities] under the slogan, “Peace, Independence, Democracy, Prosperity, and National Reconciliation” in order to demand the implementation of the Agreement, to cause the disintegration or serious collapse of the puppet army and puppet government, to seize and occupy the rural countryside, and to seize control of the governmental apparatus at the grass roots level. In parallel with building and expanding our military and political forces, we will build a revolutionary governmental structure and liberated zones that are solid in all respects. We will crush all enemy efforts to sabotage the Agreement; we will act quickly to prevent major [armed] clashes in order to maintain the peace; we will conduct general elections in accordance with the Agreement; we will advance the cause of the South Vietnamese revolution to accomplish the basic goals that have been set forward for it; and we will at the same time constantly be vigilant and remain ready to deal with any American imperialist plot aimed at resuming the war…”

The COSVN Party Current Affairs Committee laid out the following strategic principles for the South Vietnamese revolution:

1) -Firmly maintain our goal of completing our national democratic revolution and closely coordinate the two missions, nationalism and democracy, in this new situation.

2) -Firmly maintain an offensive strategy by pushing the enemy back, one step at a time, to win victories and to advance toward our goal of securing total victory.

3) -Firmly maintain our concept of [revolutionary] violence and study and fully comprehend what this concept means in these new conditions.

4) -Tightly link our mission of completing the national democratic revolution in South Vietnam with defending and building socialism in North Vietnam with the goal of advancing toward national reunification.

5) -Coordinate our revolutionary movement in South Vietnam with the Lao and Cambodian revolutionary movements.

The COSVN Party Current Affairs Committee also emphasized that the formulas for the revolution in South Vietnam were:

-Maintain close coordination between the political, the armed, and the legal struggles, using the political struggle as our foundation, using armed struggle to provide support, and exploiting the effects of the legal provisions of the Agreement.

-Closely coordinate the use of offensive attacks with the work of building our own forces in all respects in order to create a new posture and new power for our side in this new situation.

-Tightly link the political struggle of the civilian masses in all three strategic areas [mountain jungles, rural countryside, cities] with the struggle movements of overt organizations allowed under the terms of the Agreement.

[Translator’s Note: This document can also be found in the first edition of Lich Su Bien Nien Xu Uy Nam Bo va Trung Uong Cuc Mien Nam (1954-1975) [Historical Chronicle of the Cochin China Party Committee and the Central Office for South Vietnam, 1954-1975] (Hanoi: Nha xuat ban Chinh tri quoc gia, 2002), 949-951.]